First, a new patient to my practice, before seeing me, accidentally poisoned himself by overdosing on USP Iodine Tincture as a self-treatment for his hypothyroidism. He developed Jod-Basedow Disease, and unfortunately died before I could get him to a cardiologist to put in an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator . Second, a body-builder who was not a physician (he called himself a naturopath even though he never went to naturopathy school, got a degree, or had a license to practice naturopathic medicine), got access to a real physician's DEA number and was prescribing thyroid hormone, anabolic steroids, and human growth hormone (hGH) to unsuspecting patients. His victims were also forced to buy these prescription medications from him directly, at inflated prices, rather than being able to use a pharmacy of their choice. Though he was arrested for the unlicensed practice of medicine and trafficking in anabolic steroids, there are other bad actors out there . Lastly, I've seen one case of dinitrophenol poisoning, in a dieter who purchased this dangerous chemical from the Internet. In this case, she did survive, but others exposed to this deadly weight-reducing drug were not so lucky . Those situations are not what I call "optimal treatment," so I implore patients to coordinate treatment with an honest and knowledgeable physician.To summarize, Dr. Woliner believes that there are many "ranges of lab tests" out there, and, he says, the lab will use a reference range that compares to you to 95% of the population, many of whom are fatigued, overweight, and sick enough to be treated with prescription antidepressants and cholesterol lowering meds . Says Dr. Woliner:Doctors that are still able to, and are willing "to think," realize that "common-normal" isn't the same as "optimal-normal", and will adjust ranges of the TSH, free T4, free T3, Reverse T3/Total T3 ratio, and thyroid antibodies to those that are more appropriate . But "secondary hypothyroidism" and various types of "thyroid hormone resistance" are still missed by these narrowed ranges, so I emphatically feel that listening to my patients' symptoms, performing periodic physical exams, and monitoring for adverse effects to be far more effective than any one lab test in achieving "optimal treatment of hypothyroidism."
Kenneth N. Woliner, M.D., A.B.F.M. is a board-certified holistic physician. His practice, Holistic Family Medicine, is located in Boca Raton, Florida.
Holistic Family Medicine website: www.holisticfamilymed.com.
Source: Email interview with Ken Woliner, MD - December 2010
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